Journalist Irina Slavina committed suicide after years of pressure from the Russian authorities. She burned herself in public one day after a house search.
One day after authorities raided her home in Russia, opposition journalist Irina Slavina set herself on fire. She died Friday after being set on fire outside an office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, 400 kilometers east of Moscow. She had previously written on her Facebook page, “Hold the Russian Federation responsible for my death.”
Confiscated computers and notes
The day before her death, Slavina said her house had been searched by the police. Notepads, her laptop and other electronics, as well as her daughter’s laptop and her husband’s cell phone were confiscated. Also searched for material from the opposition group “Open Russia”, which is financed by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Slawina worked as editor in chief for the small news company “Kosa Press”.
Members of the Russian opposition said Slavina was under pressure from the authorities for a long time. “In recent years, she has been subject to endless prosecution by the authorities for her activities for the opposition,” politician Dmitri Gudkov wrote on Instagram. “What a nightmare,” Kremlin critic Ilya Yashin tweeted. “The government is breaking people mentally.”
Noted investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov wrote on the short Twitter messaging service: “What a terrible tragedy, taking a look at what independent journalists in Russia’s regions have experienced – the constant barrage of intimidation, pressure and law enforcement.”
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